esc 不在 – midi dungeon

Recommendation: ☀☁☁

Other than being from the same artist behind Macintosh Plus, fuji grid tv, and Vektroid – Ramona Xavier – there really isn’t much that separates esc 不在1 from the rest of the pack. midi dungeon (and its sister album black horse) is a basic classic-style vaporwave half-hour-long release of sound compilation and minimal editing. Tracks begin and end in an arbitrary fashion, with velvety-smooth samples of adult contemporary and soundtrack, but without the sexualization that accompanies much of this kind of music. Some tracks come from new age music, which might surprise listeners whose first impression is the kooky album artwork; examples include “aurora3d” and “slumber.” There is a significant nature theme, as seen in song titles such as “forest,” “pine,” and “in a cave watching the blizzard;” but they are not reflected in the music itself, other than corresponding to the new age milieu.

This is far from a necessary vaporwave release, but it does have its own curious place in the scene’s history: the date of release (2 August 2011) coincides with the release of the early broken transmission album prism genesis from the fuji grid tv project. It also represents an early example of the strict curatorial framework that would later influence artists such as Infinity Frequencies by abstaining from the predominant Japanese aesthetic. It’s not as ironic/commentative as Floral Shoppe, as meta- as black horse, nor as progressive as prism genesis, but midi dungeon is decent in its own right as an imaginary compilation album of bygone new age and adult contemporary.



1. mirror harem – (1:41)
2. forest – (2:44)
3. pine – (3:08)
4. surf – (1:45)
5. after hours – (1:54)
6. slumber – (5:55)
7. slow rain – (1:56)
8. asleep together – (5:02)
9. in a cave watching the blizzard – (2:14)
10. gate – (1:31)
11. aurora3d – (4:36)


1Japanese/Chinese translation: “Cannot escape”


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